Scotland skipper Alastair Kellock insists he is not thinking about the possibility of captaining his country at the World Cup ahead of Saturday's final warm-up against Italy at Murrayfield.
Scotland coach Andy Robinson has so far refused to confirm his captain for next month's tournament in New Zealand, where his side's first round opponents include Argentina and England.
While Kellock has been given a golden chance to stake his claim to the armband against the Azzurri, the towering lock forward insists he is only pre-occupied with a victory.
"It is huge for me to get the captaincy back - in fact it is huge just to be starting," said Kellock, who captained Scotland through this year's Six Nations.
"But I am not thinking about who will be skipper in the World Cup. Coach Andy Robinson will make his decision and reveal it when he announces the squad on Monday.
"There are leaders all over this team, which makes it even more special to be the guy chosen to wear the armband."
As expected, Robinson has made wholesale changes from the team which edged Ireland 10-6 at Murrayfield two weeks ago, with only centre Graeme Morrison retaining his place.
Of particular interest to Robinson before he names his 30-man squad for New Zealand on Monday will be the contribution of Lions pair Chris Cusiter and Euan Murray, who are both expected to feature despite being named on the bench.
"Chris is fit now and this gives him the chance to put his hand up and be back in the squad," Robinson said.
"They weren't fit for the Ireland game and I said that for them to be involved in the tournament 30 they had to be involved this weekend.
"If they weren't involved this weekend I wouldn't have taken them to New Zealand, so it was one of those stipulations in terms of training - they had to get themselves ready to play against Italy.
"Euan is fit to have started, and Chris wouldn't be in the 22 either if he couldn't have started, but again it's about competition for places and people getting in the starting team."
Italy coach Nick Mallett has also made sweeping changes to his starting line-up following last week's 31-24 defeat of Japan in Cesena.
The South African has restored a largely first choice three-quarter line with only Tommaso Benvenuti keeping his place on the wing, although he switches from left to right.
Up front only captain Sergio Parisse at number eight and front-rowers Andrea Lo Cicero and Leonardo Ghiraldini keep their places.
Mallett said he had shuffled his line-up in order to give his squad as much game-time as possible.
"If you're part of the 30 players who are going to the World Cup it's important to feel like part of group and to do so you must play," Mallett said.
"If the youngsters play well it will be very good for their confidence for the games against Russia and the USA.
"We'll only know after the games against Japan and Scotland if we're ready, the southern hemisphere teams are advanced because they're playing in the Tri-Nations at a very high level.
"The northern hemisphere teams need these games to get some game time practice."
Players to watch:
For Scotland: Rory Lamont is a powerful runner from fullback and will want to make a big impression after limited opportunities in recent times, while inside centre Graeme Morrison if often underrated in the midfield and offers a very solid defensive technique.
For Italy: As usual with Italy their captain Sergio Parisse is world class and would walk into most teams around the world, while the irrepressible Martin Castrogiovanni is a monster of a man at tighthead.
Head to head: Italy will put a great deal of pressure on the Scottish scrum and the likes of Moray Low, Scott Lawson and Alasdair Dickinson must stand up to the challenge. There will also be questions asked in the line-outs, where experienced second rows Nathan Hines and Alastair Kellock will be jumping against the athletic South African-born locks Cornelius van Zyl and Carlo Antonio Del Fava.
2011: Scotland won 21-8, Edinburgh
2010: Italy won 16-12, Rome
2009: Scotland won 26-6, Edinburgh
2008: Italy won 23-20, Rome
2007: Scotland won 18-16, St Etienne
2007: Italy won 37-17, Edinburgh
2006: Scotland won 13-10, Rome
2005: Scotland won 18-10, Edinburgh
Prediction: Scotland are a much improved side under Andy Robinson and have shown some signs of becoming a strong side with limited resources, while Nick mallet is growing the rugby culture in the Italian camp and has made them a tough opposition. Italy could catch the Scots napping a sneak at narrow victory.
Scotland: 15 Rory Lamont, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Moray Low, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Euan Murray, 18 Richie Gray, 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Nikki Walker.
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Cornelius van Zyl, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Pablo Canavosio, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Matteo Pratichetti.
Date: Saturday, August 20
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 17.00 (16.00 GMT)
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Robin Goodliffe (England)
TMO: Hugh Watkins (Wales)
AFP and rugby365.com
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